The Queen Charlotte Track

The Queen Charlotte Track

Marlborough Man

Queen Charlotte Track New Zealand

The Marlborough Sounds are a beautiful part of New Zealand’s South Island, and walking the 71km Queen Charlotte Track is a great way to experience the region.

Water Taxi Nelson, New Zealand
‘Well sit right back and you’ll hear a tale…’

The trip to Ship Cove, the starting point for the Track, is a tour in itself offering spectacular views of the waterways and mountains. The small boat operators at Picton ferry tourists, locals and the mail to remote communities in the Sounds.

Ship Cove, Queen Charlotte Track New Zealand
Captain Cook visited Ship Cove five times over a seven year period. He must have been a bit light-on for new areas of the world to explore

The Queen Charlotte Track traverses both public and private land, climbing and descending the ranges and at times hugging the coast. The views are epic, and I made sure to pick a three day spell of fine weather.

Queen Charlotte Track New Zealand
Queen Charlotte Track New Zealand

Cheeky weka hang around the campsites hoping for a feed. This bloke must be particularly persuasive.

Weka, New Zealand
The inflatable bird novelty proved a real winner with the kids

Fantails are common along the Track too, flitting around as you walk and snacking down any insects you disturb.

It was chilly camping out, but on both nights whilst tucked up in the bivvy I did hear the familiar and comforting sound of a boobook owl. The Kiwis call them Morepork, despite the fact that they clearly call ‘boobook.’

Queen Charlotte Track New Zealand
The von Trapps had made it to Switzerland

It’s one of those times when photos just don’t do justice to the spectacular scenery.

Queen Charlotte Track New Zealand
Queen Charlotte Track New Zealand
Dicky Knee enjoyed the walk

The Queen Charlotte Track has markers every 10km, which can be encouraging or disheartening depending on how you are feeling when you come across them. After a big three days on the hoof I was pretty pleased to pass the final one and pop out at the little town of Anakiwa, where I would catch the boat back to Picton.

Queen Charlotte Track New Zealand

For more on the Queen Charlotte Track click here

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5 thoughts on “The Queen Charlotte Track

    1. If I had to choke down one more lunch of cheese and lettuce roll-ups I would have looked very differently at that plump weka

  1. That little weka made too many trips to the fridge during the shutdown!
    Is the morepork…er…boobook the same as the mopoke? Actually what is a mopoke?

    1. Too right. The Aussie boobook, or Southern Boobook is Ninox novaeseelandiae. Novaeseelandiae is New Zealand latinised – the species was first described from a specimen found (ie shot) in New Zealand. The Kiwi Morepork is also Ninox novaeseelandiae, so yes they are the same bird. Well not precisely the same bird, as crossing the Tasman all the time to call out ‘boobook’ in Australia or ‘morepork’ in New Zealand would get very tiring, and generally you need more than one bird in order to produce offspring. Some birdos do split the species into sub-species, N. n. boobook for the Aussie bird and N. n. novaeseelandiae for the Kiwi one. The Aussie boobook is also known as ‘mopoke’. Right. That’s cleared that up.

  2. Thanks Ranger Jim!! Great pics by the way! The hills are alive…with the sound of boobooks/moreporks/mopokes….

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